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420

Part Two

genre of funeral eulogy”

189

and illumine the mystery of Christian death

in the light of the risen Christ.

1689

The Eucharistic Sacrifice.

When the celebration takes place in

church, the Eucharist is the heart of the Paschal reality of Christian

death.

190

In the Eucharist, the Church expresses her efficacious commun­

ion with the departed: offering to the Father in the Holy Spirit the sacrifice

of the death and resurrection of Christ, she asks to purify his child of his

sins and their consequences, and to admit him to the Paschal fullness of

the table of the Kingdom.

191

It is by the Eucharist thus celebrated that the

community of the faithful, especially the family of the deceased, learn to

live in communion with the one who “has fallen asleep in the Lord,” by

communicating in the Body of Christ of which he is a living member and,

then, by praying for him and with him.

1690

A

farewell

to the deceased is his final “commendation to God” by

the Church. It is “the last farewell by which the Christian community

greets one of its members before his body is brought to its tomb.”

192

The

Byzantine tradition expresses this by the kiss of farewell to the deceased:

By this final greeting “we sing for his departure from this

life and separation from us, but also because there is a

communion and a reunion. For even dead, we are not at all

separated from one another, because we all run the same

course and we will find one another again in the same place.

We shall never be separated, for we live for Christ, and now

we are united with Christ as we go toward him . . . we shall

all be together in Christ.”

193

189

OCF

41.

190 Cf.

OCF

1.

191 Cf.

OCF

57.

192

OCF

10.

193 St. Simeon of Thessalonica,

De ordine sepulturæ.

336: PG 155, 684.

1371

958

2300